Ever wonder what the heck to do with Patty Pan Squash? Patty
Pan is a yellow summer squash that is shaped like a flower or sunburst. They
are mild in flavor, and great stuffed.
2 Patty Pan squash (about 6-inch in diameter)
7 ounces apricot chicken sausage (or any favorite chicken sausage,
I used the local Malady’s Meat Market sausage), casings removed
one small chopped onion
2 TB chopped green onion tops
½ tsp tumeric(or
another favorite spice)
½ tsp thyme sprigs
½ cup quick-cooking barley
2-3 TB grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Prepare squash by cooking in microwave. Place whole squash
on microwave-safe plate and cook for 3 minutes (you can also boil in water for
5 minutes). Once pre-cooked, slice top off squash and remove middle pulp and
seeds, forming a bowl (rim should be about an inch thick). Set aside.
2. Saute onion until clear, add sausage spices and herbs. Crumble
sausage as it cooks, and cook until browned. Add green onion and cook one minute longer.
3. Meanwhile cook barley according to package directions while sausage is cooking.
4. Add cooked barley to cooked sausage, mix well.
5. Add sausage and barley mixture to center of each squash. Sprinkle
6. Place squash in glass baking dish. Fill with an inch of water, and
bake in oven for 20-30 minutes, until squash is tender.
July 14, 2010 Buffalo Chicken Burgers, Tomato-Cucumber-Orzo Salad
In case you read this week's Meadville Tribune column and wondered "where's the recipe that goes with this photo?", here is a recipe to try out!
A Tomato, Cucumber and Orzo Salad also follows.
Chicken Burgers, courtesy of Good Housekeeping
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) blue cheese, crumbled
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 pound ground chicken or turkey
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 TB (plus additional for serving) cayenne pepper sauce
Nonstick cooking spray
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
Carrot and celery sticks
Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling over
In small bowl, stir mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese,
vinegar, and Worcestershire until blended. Set blue cheese sauce aside.
Makes about 3/4 cup.
In medium bowl, combine chicken, celery, and cayenne pepper
sauce just until blended. Shape mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick burgers.
Spray both sides of burgers with nonstick spray.
Place burgers on hot grill rack; cook 12 to 14 minutes or
just until meat loses its pink color
throughout, turning over once. Burgers should reach an internal
temperature of 170 degrees F.
Serve burgers on buns with lettuce and some blue cheese
sauce. Serve remaining blue cheese sauce with carrot and celery sticks.
Pass additional cayenne pepper sauce to serve with burgers if you like.
Nutritional information is based on 1
burger without sauce
tablespoon blue cheese sauce: About 40 calories, 1 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 4 g total
fat (2 g saturated), 0 g fiber, 7 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium.
Cucumber, Tomato and Orzo Salad
I love this summer salad as an option to traditional potato or pasta salads. A great way to use garden cukes!
2 small fresh cucumbers, peeled, seeded, chopped
5 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
2-3 TB fresh parsley, chopped
3-4 TB chopped red onion
1 can Cannelloni or Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
5 oz (dry) orzo pasta [cook according to package, drain, rinse,
¼ tsp sea salt
1 TB sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
3 TB balsamic vinegar
Mix cucumber, tomato, onion and parsley in a medium bowl.
Add beans and cooked pasta. Toss.
Mix salt, sugar, olive oil, and vinegar in a glass measuring
cup. Whisk to blend.
Pour dressing over salad mixture, toss to coat. Chill for at
least one hour.
July 13, 2010 Cooking is Your New Health Care Strategy
This really isn’t news to many, but cooking at home is good
for your health. Harvard Medical School brought medicine and menu planning
together to illustrate the benefits of a healthful diet recently in the
“Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives” conference. The premise behind the conference
was to educate physicians about how important it is to be able to discuss
healthy eating and cooking with patients.
The conference focused on a few key points that lead to
§Consume ‘good carbs’ (limit refined sugar and
white flours, and add more whole grain carbohydrates: oats, barley, brown rice,
whole grain breads and cereals)
§Eat Mindfully (be aware of what, how much, and
when you are eating)
Even though this may not sound like news,
somehow, folks are reluctant to buy in to these simple tips. Let’s see if I can
make them more meaningful to you:
should taste good. If you think you do not like vegetables, it is probably
because you have never prepared them properly or have had them prepared
properly for you. Just steamed? Boring. Try grilling veggies this season, and
toss them into pasta (hot or cold) for a great side dish or meal. Slice
zucchini, onions, eggplant, and bell peppers and toss together in an oven safe
glass dish. Drizzle with good olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast in
the oven for about an hour. The result: a sweet, tender, delicious taste
afraid to pan sauté. It may sound difficult, but it’s easy and a great-tasting
alternative to deep-frying, and it’s a way to add ‘good fat’ to a tasty meal. And it's quick, and won't heat up your kitchen. Try
breading thin cuts of chicken breast or pork loin. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive
or peanut oil in a six to ten inch sauté pan, place meat into hot oil and cook
until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes per side.
don’t remove it from your diet. If the question is: “Are carbs bad?” The
answer is “No. Just not too many”. Frankly, I am getting tired of hearing about
“carbo-phobics”. If you think you are going to get fat, or stay fat, by eating
a bagel in the morning, or a roll with your salad, or a bowl of rice, stand
back, because I may just slap you (ouch). The idea that the bread/grain group
is evil is ridiculous. Sure whole grain breads offer more nutrients and fiber,
but eating a white roll isn’t going to undo your healthy eating or weight loss
plan. What will undo your weight loss plan is: junk food, candy, processed
cakes and cookies, sugary drinks, tubs of icing, too many granola bars, too
many rolls with your salad, and not moving your body enough.
§Do you even know what you ate today?
Were you hungry? Do you know how small or large your portion was? Did you count
the handful of candy you took from your coworker’s desk? Being aware of what
and how much you eat is important when it comes to changing behaviors for the
better. Consider keeping a food log (stay posted, I will have a food and exercise journal
published later this year).
Cooking doesn't have to take up a lot of your time either. Keep meals simple and use fresh ingredients (now is a great time to visit farmer's markets or your neighbor's garden). Use your grill both for meats, chicken, seafood, and vegetables. You can even grill fruit. Grilled peaches or pineapple make delicious accompaniments to meats.
Try this tasty salad to use as an accompaniment to your next BBQ or picnic:
CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD WITH ORZO
1 cup orzo pasta
2 medium cucumbers, seeded, chopped
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 can Cannelloni or Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
3 TB balsamic or apple cider vinegar
1 TB sugar
¼ tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)
Cook pasta according to package directions and drain under
Combine vegetables (cucumber, tomato, onion) in medium bowl
and mix. Add beans and orzo, mix.
Combine parsley, oil, and vinegar and blend. Add sugar, salt
and pepper, and mix well.
Pour dressing over vegetable-bean-pasta mixture and toss
together. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.